Players of Ghantoot Polo and Clinova Noa Capital Polo in action during their match.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The sixth and final day of the IFZA Gold Cup 2023 qualifiers featured two matches where Ghantoot Polo faced off Clinova Noa Capital Polo, and UAE Polo locked horns with Dubai Wolves by CAFU.
Marcos Araya of Ghantoot Polo kicked off the afternoon match against Clinova Noa Capital Polo with a 30-yard penalty goal. The game continued to be one-sided in favor of UAE Polo, with the second chukker ending at 5-2.
The pace of the match picked up in the third chukker, with Marcos and Pablo Llorente Jr. scoring three goals each to bring the scoreboard to 9-3 in favor of Ghantoot Polo. In the penultimate chukker, Ghantoot Polo extended their lead with two goals by Segundo Amadori and one each by Pablo and Marcos, taking their score to double digits with 13-5.
The patrons of both the teams, Raja Karim from Clinova and Nasser Al Shamsi of Ghantoot Polo scored a goal, with Tommy Iriarte carving a last minute goal for the Clinova. However, despite their efforts, it was Ghantoot Polo who emerged as the clear winner with a final score of 15-9.
The fight to qualify for the quarterfinals was between Dubai Wolves by CAFU and UAE Polo. Martin Podesta opened the match with a brilliantly executed shot, but not long after, Carlos Ulloa equalized the score, resulting in a tied score of 1–1 at the end of the first chukker.
The first half of the match was a closely contested affair as both teams were evenly matched, resulting in tied scores of 3–3 in the second chukker and 5–5 by the end of the third.
A brilliant passage of play was displayed by both the teams by the second half, but it was white shirted players of the UAE Polo team who managed to gain the advantage, as Lucas Monteverde Jr. and Tommy Beresford led their team with a 2-goal lead in the penultimate chukker.
In the final stretch of the game, Jacinto Crotto and Teodora Lacau each scored a goal in the last few minutes, but it was not enough as Beresford and Monteverde of the UAE Polo team sealed their victory over the Wolves with a final score of 9 goals to 7.